Where did the inspiration for "I'm a Little Brain Dead" come from?
This book came from my experiences with my stroke and subsequent heart procedure. The event itself was very serious, but my reaction to it was anything but. I have always managed emotional upheaval through humor, and I suppose the extreme nature of this situation brought out the truly ludicrous side of me. I have been cautioned, by numerous people, that I'm not taking it all seriously enough.
From a medical standpoint- absolutely. I don't fool around with my brain. That part of things was managed as quickly as possible. I was in the ambulance within minutes. Also, there are two appendixes in the book, one reviews the current guidelines for stroke symptoms, and the other is a how-to for practicing calling 911 with your children. Of course, they are appropriately named, Very Serious Appendix A and Very Serious Appendix B.
And the title? “I’m a Little Brain Dead”?
The title is true in every sense. Probably of us all.
How can other people prepare for this kind of emergency?
Remarkably, it is possible to prepare for an emergency where you can't speak and you can't walk. First, practice calling 911 with your kids. Actually role play being a dispatcher and taking their "call" - don't just tell them to call 911. Practice. They need to know your address, or be able to call from a landline if they don't. And they must stay on the line with the dispatcher until told otherwise. Second, use something like the Family Medical Emergency Form and keep it in an easily accessible place - ours is hung low inside a hall closet so everyone can reach it. It has all relevant medical info for everyone in the house, as well as phone numbers of numbers and other contacts. You can download it here by clicking on the PDF. You are welcome to use and share this document.
Family Medical Emergency Form (click PDF symbol to download)